How Updates and Patches Help Protect From Ransomware

21 March 2016

In this age of next generation security threats like Ransomware, it has never been more important to ensure the security of your computer systems, and therefore your sensitive digital files and data.

What updating does – why it’s important

After a software program has been released, attackers (and security researchers) work constantly to find holes in the way the software was written in an attempt to compromise computer systems and networks running that software. The attackers are usually looking to either gain some financial reward, or use the compromised system for illegal purposes (e.g. use your system as a part of a botnet to attack other systems).

When a security hole is discovered either by attackers or security researchers, the software vendor releases a patch to resolve the security hole in the software – this protects all those who use the software.

Protecting your system from Ransomware (and other malware)

Recently Ransomware, which is currently the biggest threat to business IT; has been successfully distributed and infected millions of computers worldwide through out-of-date browsers, plug-ings, and software – simply by browsing a webpage which was infected (usually through the ads on the page). This is possible because the user was running out-of-date software on their computer.

Regular updates

For home users we recommend you enable automatic updates in all your major software; Windows operating systems, browsers (Firefox, Chrome), Flash Player, Java, Adobe Reader, etc.

For business users – managing more than one computer’s updates can be a real time sink. Then the users get busy and forget to apply updates – or an automatic update system stops working (unfortunately this is quite common) – leading to an unprotected device which could infect your entire network and compromise your data.

As part of Managed IT Services (IT Support) we provide comprehensive monitoring and management of all updates for your network. We apply updates several times a week supporting all your operating systems, 3rd party apps, browsers, plugins, and even your line-of-business software. We take the burden out of updates and help keep your network secure from security threats so our customers can rest easy.

If you would like any more information about software updates, or obligation free check of your network health – please contact us below.

Next month we take a closer look at why the built in automatic updates in Windows doesn’t work well for business and what to do about it.

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